21 Apr 2006

Episode 21: Secret Water

Grateful thanks to artist and writer Christa Giles, writer Syne Mitchell of WeaveCast, and to writer Heather Ordover of CraftLit – Check out these new podcasts for knitters: Two Six Knits, and KnitCentric, and KnitTunes, and CraftLit


** Welcome, fellow Heinlein fans!


  1. Christa wrote:

    Hah! I love that you use “grok”… another Heinlien fan? About to listen to the episode, loading it up for my walkabout in the sunny, breezy spring weather in Vancouver, BC, Canada… mmMmm…. and Happy Birthday Tonia! (didja knit her something special?)


    Posted on 4.21.06 ·
  2. katy wrote:

    Does the button mean that you got your grant? Congratulations! Can’t wait to listen to this episode.

    Posted on 4.21.06 ·
  3. Sherry W wrote:

    What a lovely, poignant episode. Blessings to the familes of those children

    Posted on 4.21.06 ·
  4. Dawn wrote:

    So pleased to see you got the funding!!! Look forward to listening to the cast! Oh…and when I was in Wales on Tues I stopped by Collinette and bought them out…well not exactly out but I spent as much as my hubby could stomach! Wales is absolutely gorgeous this time of the year! I especially enjoyed the beautiful black lambs! We took a walk and ended up just missing a ewe having her little one.

    Posted on 4.21.06 ·
  5. Cyn wrote:

    Congratulations on the grant! I am so looking forward to Cast-On Series 3! Love your podcast and listen to it every week.

    Posted on 4.21.06 ·
  6. Louise wrote:

    Many congratulations on getting your grant!!! I really look forward to Friday evenings to download your podcast, I sit in peace listening to my iPod while knitting (currently a shawl/scarf in Noro Silk Garden)…my husband is safely out of the way playing on his PC and knows not to disturb me as I savour your show!

    This weeks show was extremely thought provoking and inspirational. It actually reminded me of a sweater I have boxed away in a cupboard. It looks nothing special, is a mint green colour, saggy baggy acrylic, with a lacey pattern down the centre from top to bottom. Sounds grim but, I wore this sweater as a teenager and it is very much treasured because it was the last item my Nanny Elsie knitted me before she died.

    Since listening to your show this evening, I’ve sat and reminisced about my Nanny Elsie. A keen knitter (and smoker) who I still miss very much since she died 20 yrs ago. She would be very proud of the fact that I have taken up knitting again!

    Look forward to next weeks show!

    Louise x

    Posted on 4.21.06 ·
  7. Debra wrote:

    First, congratulations on the funding!!

    Second, happy birthday to whomever.

    Third. Grok!! I love it.

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  8. may wrote:

    Love this show! Congratulations on the grant! Thank you!

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  9. Lauren wrote:

    Really lovely show. I’m loving the muse series.

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  10. Mandy wrote:

    I just wanted to say this was a great episode! My husband’s Aunt just passed away today and I found myself wanting to knit for everyone. I started a baby blanket for a friend and chose to knit my pain away.
    I never miss a show and congrats on the grant!!!

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  11. Christa wrote:

    Wow.. thanks so much for putting that together, Brenda… I was standing outside my local library listening to you read my piece, then went in and was looking at books, and had picked up one of Syne’s just before you announced that she was a sci-fi writer! Too funny…

    The episode brought tears, and release… sorry to hear about the kids in the car, and much thanks to Syne for sharing her powerful story, and I loved the music selections, too..

    Thanks, much. Congrats on the grant, too!


    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  12. isel wrote:

    Thank you so much for that episode. You have no idea how much it meant to me.

    I had finally caught up on all the episodes yesterday and was happy to see there was a new one when I got home. I quickly downloaded it, waiting for some time alone to listen to it.

    Little did I know that time would come at 1am, when misfortune showed its ugly face…threatening to turn my life upside down.

    Listening to this powerful episode, I felt as if you were talking to me and my anguish and sorrow quickly turned into acceptance and hope.

    Melpomene was definitely my muse last night, and I thank you for letting me know that and putting so many things into perspective.

    After listening to the episode, I went to bed convinced that everything will be OK. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but someday…

    p.s. Congratulations on the grant.

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  13. Donica wrote:

    Hey Brenda! Congratulations on the arts grant! I love listening to Cast On every week, this week was very thought provoking. Good job!

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  14. debra wrote:

    What a stunningly beautiful show. I wept, and I knit, and I wept some more. My heart aches for your dear friend; losing a child is a parent’s greatest nightmare every time we relinquish our grip a little and let them go out into the world. Every essay was so perfectly wrought; and then you brought us full circle, back to life and birthdays. Happy birthday to Tonia and the “birthday divas”. (I’m in the latter camp, by the way — cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t want a big fuss on her birthday!) Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful show.

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  15. Carol M wrote:

    Thank you for giving me the lush green lawn to sit upon, knitting and sipping on my mint julep/iced tea. Every week you put me in a special place that keeps the inspiration flowing.

    Consider this a large bouquet of tulips, jonquils, and daffodils.

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  16. Kate wrote:

    Thank you for another great podcast- I found the music very moving. It’s nice to know that the Arts Council Grant has gauranteed a third season of Cast-On so thank you to Celfyddydaucymru from New South Wales.

    Posted on 4.22.06 ·
  17. Janice in GA wrote:

    Many congrats on the grant!

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  18. The essays this week were so though provoking. Thanks!

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  19. Diane wrote:


    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  20. Kate wrote:

    Wow, heavy episode! I enjoyed it, as always. Congratulations on the grant! You go, girl!

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  21. Merrie Burnett wrote:

    As I listened to Syne’s essay about Melpomene I was reminded not of my knitting, but of my quilting. You see, I am so new to knitting that I still clutch a stitch dictionary as a talisman against forgetfulness. A close friend’s Mother was battling ovarian cancer for the second time and was stuck overnight in the hospital for her treatment. She would get cold from the poisons used to fight the cancer. It was apparent to me that she *needed* some color as well as warmth. I could feel the muse say, “This one really needs to done now!” The quilt I made was a riot of colorful cats and she absolutely loved it. My friend’s Mom is in remission and we are all keeping our fingers crossed, so far so good.

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  22. sarah wrote:

    Another great episode, made me cry, made me think. Well done on the funding, does this make you feel like a legitimate creative person? Hope to meet you at Woolfest, are you doing anything apart from interviews?

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  23. Vanessa wrote:

    Brenda, Thank you so much for putting into words, the thoughs and dreams that often go unspoken….stitch after stitch they sit at the back of mind and heart, Your a friend that we haven’t yet met. We wait each week for your visit. Tea and sandwiches, spinning wheels and fiber. Ready needles anticipate your arrival. Through the good and the bad in life it’s nice to have a kinderd spirit in your midst. Thanks again for showing up!

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  24. Rose wrote:

    This series is fantastic. I was a bit hesitant, loving your regular podcasts so much, but this series is so moving and well done.

    I work for hospice, and i knit. Knitting through the everyday tragedy that I see helps me breathe.

    Thank you.

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  25. Candace wrote:

    Once again, there are no words to describe this episode. Thanks very much Brenda. Christa, Syne, and Heather for the much needed catharsis, and for the remider that without great sorrow, we can’t truly appreciate great joy.

    Posted on 4.23.06 ·
  26. Duffy wrote:

    Usually I listen to your podcast at work, but I’m glad I chose to do it Sunday night after choir because I cry at the drop of a hat. Very good essays and music.

    So does this mean you don’t want me to pimp comments for you?


    Posted on 4.24.06 ·
  27. Heather Layne wrote:

    I’ve been listening to the podcast since January (and have caught up on all the episodes) but haven’t yet commented. This episode, however, drove me to it at last. It was very touching and every essay and song was perfect. I love the idea of the muses and the submissions for essays this week were particularly perfect. Thank you so much for all the hours you put into this podcast. I love hearing your voice and listening to the amazing, wonderful music you find to share with us.

    All the best (and happy birthday to all the Aprils!),
    Heather Layne

    P.S. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s a problem with itunes, but I can’t get to the link for CraftLit! I really wanted to see the site, even though I did subscribe on itunes.

    Posted on 4.24.06 ·
  28. Mary Ellen wrote:

    Congratulation on getting your grant! Hurrah!

    And this episode was beautiful. Thank you.

    Posted on 4.24.06 ·
  29. Hey Brenda,

    Congrats on the funding!!! So now we don’t have to fret about the next season! 😉

    Great episode….very touching. It was really hard to control myself, because I was listening to the episode while I was at the gym…and to cry while weight-lifing wouldn’t look so great. 🙂

    Posted on 4.25.06 ·
  30. This year’s tomatoes are dedicated to you. I did not have an Ipod, but copied a few of your podcasts to CD and listened to them in the garden while I was pulling out weeds and grass. I happened to be listening to your essay on gauge when I was setting out what will be the first of close to 100 tomato plants (along with some pepper and eggplants). Gauge also applies to how I plant my garden. Too close and things crowd each other and don’t grow to their optimum potential. Too far away and you have wasted space that could be utilized and be productive.

    Bottom line….your casts (and I am catching up on them) help me feel like I’m knitting when I’m gardening. They have, so far, also gotten me up off the couch and around the block for a 30 minute walk. So the purchase of an Ipod shuffle so that I could easy download and listen to your cast and the others that you have mentioned was made. Apple owes you a commission!

    By the way, my 2 daughters (15 and shortly to be 13 if she cleans up her room and lives that long!)thank you. Mom got them shuffles also. Figured I would save the money in batteries alone each year.

    Thank you again for the time and effort you put into your podcasts. It is greatly appreciated out here in “podcast listener land”. And if I could figure out how to ship tomatoes to Wales you would have some of the best tomatoes going this summer.

    Posted on 4.25.06 ·
  31. Lisa in MA wrote:

    First, I have to fess up that I’m WAY behind listening to your podcasts! I just finished listening to Episode 12 and I have to say that I LOVED the guitar playing at the end of the show! You must be so proud of your son! I’m also wondering if he has any acoustic guitar recordings available anywhere? I’d love to hear more!!!

    Posted on 4.25.06 ·
  32. Stephanie wrote:

    Thank you so much for the time and attention you give to your podcasts. They’re always interesting, and this one is very moving.


    Posted on 4.25.06 ·
  33. Judy wrote:

    As always, a great podcast. Thank you so much for doing it. Dunno how you do it, but you make me laugh, cry and reminisce all at the same time.

    Posted on 4.25.06 ·
  34. Abigail wrote:

    Great podcast as usual. I was going to say that you should have warned us that we might cry, but it was about tragedy! I should have known.

    I was not a knitter on Sept. 11, 2001, but I was a beader. Two days after the attack, I had made this. I probably would have started a big knitting project immediately if I had been a knitter, since I was also unemployed.

    I also wanted to say that last week, I was also disappointed not to see your podcast on Friday. I look forward to Fridays so that I can download your new episode. Thanks for keeping up with it!

    Posted on 4.26.06 ·
  35. toni wrote:

    What a moving episode. Thank you so much.

    Posted on 4.26.06 ·
  36. Ellen wrote:

    I’ll add my kudos to the list. Excellent episode, Brenda, you are a joy and a delight to listen to while working on my knitting.
    Thank you. Thanks you. May the muses reward you for your efforts.

    Posted on 4.27.06 ·
  37. Tonya wrote:

    Lady I will tell you I have listened to All your podcasts, but this one made me cry so much I couldn’t finish it. I look forward to your next one tho. Keep up the good work and don’t let the negativity gremlins get you down!

    Posted on 4.27.06 ·
  38. Michelle wrote:

    I download your pod cast every Friday and celebrate the weekend with a long walk, my Ipod and your show. Love it!!!

    Posted on 4.28.06 ·
  39. lynn mccann wrote:

    Knitting podcasts!! My daughter thinks I’m such a geek. Takes one to know one. I discovered your podcasts shortly before my husband had a stroke . I have tearfully made it through the 21st episode of cast-on. Melpomene has certainly has her threads in my life lately. Your podcasts and my knitting have been my salvation and my sanity during this time so if you don’t think you are reaching anyone, I will strongly beg to differ. Thanks for your unique contributions.
    I chose the Stallarholmen throw pattern from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton in the frightfully expensive Noro wool for my daughter’s graduation from Grad school (she’s worth it) and I have knit by his bedside for 5 weeks now. I am knitting him back to health as only another knitter will understand.
    I listen to your podcasts over and over on the trip to and from the hospital. So thank you again and congratulations on the funding and I will keep downloading and listening.

    Posted on 4.28.06 ·
  40. Dory O wrote:

    Brenda, I love you (!) and was hooked immediately after first hearing your podcast last year.

    But this episode was my least favorite. Almost no knitting content. Instead it was like “Oprah After the Show” or a consciousness raising retreat with drum circle and sweat lodge. I fast-forwarded right through the depressing 9/11 section. Ugh.

    I know a lot of people love that sort of thing. I usually love your stories. But I don’t listen to “Cast On” because I don’t have anything else to listen to or need a good cry — I listen because I love knitting and I think you’re a funny, clever, entertaining host.

    It just feels like more and more is about the podcasting itself, personal schedules, sharing, etc. Here’s one vote for sticking to your knitting…so to speak. Please don’t be offended. You’ve got the best podcast out there — I’m just afraid I’m going to lose it to a band of mythopoetic navelgazing Isadora Duncans trying to emulate “This American Life”…is all I’m sayin’

    Posted on 4.28.06 ·
  41. Now this is one person who needs to start their own podcast, wouldn’t you say? Brenda, don’t be put off by Dory. People still don’t get that a podcast IS personal. It’s whatever the hell you want it to be, and if they don’t like it, they can gaze at their own navels instead. I think this comes from decades of watching television. IMHO, Dory’s comment was good constructive critique, yet I still look at it as somebody wandering into your house and telling you your drapes are the wrong colour.

    Posted on 4.29.06 ·
  42. Jeanie wrote:

    I have to agree with Dave on this one… after all, that’s what “fast forward” buttons were invented for anyway!

    I’m about a week behind in my podcast listening, but want you to know that I found this particular episode very timely. Brenda, last month my 17 year old son lost his closest and dearest friend (of ten years) in a car accident (he fell asleep at the wheel). I feel as though I’ve lost a son. I’ve cried over it, written about it (http://yarnaholic1963.typepad.com/dances_with_yarn/2006/03/unbelievable_lo.html), but must say I’ve knit less in the past month than ever before. I think I just want to spend more inter-active time with my family these days, whereas knitting seems to be something I do when I need some quiet time to myself. I’m knitting today however (since the kids are out and about) while listening to your podcasts and thoroughly enjoyed learning about Melpomene.

    Congratulations on the grant, and don’t change a thing about your show. You got that grant for a reason!


    Posted on 4.29.06 ·
  43. Rachel wrote:

    I’m late to comment, but congratulations on your grant, Brenda!

    I have to say that this episode really touched me. Just over 4 years ago, my best friend’s youngest sister (aged 19) died in a car accident. I was living in Seattle and my friend in Oklahoma, and I didn’t have any way of getting there to see her. The day after I heard about the accident, I bought yarn and a pattern for an afghan that I fully thought was for myself. But as I worked, that afghan seemed to speak to me, saying “I’m for Eva.” The longer I worked, the more obvious it was that I wasn’t going to keep that afgan for myself. I finished it in less than 3 months (which was an amazing rate for me) and ended up sending it to my friend in place of all the hugs I couldn’t give her. Now I think it was Melpomene telling me I wouldn’t keep that afghan. Thanks to you and all your guest essayists for a really wonderful episode.

    I can’t wait for the rest of Series 2 and for Series 3. Keep up the fantastic work!

    Posted on 4.30.06 ·
  44. Dory O wrote:

    Dave! Dave! (I’m a big Dave fan!)

    It’s nothing like walking into someone’s house and commenting on the drapes.

    It’s a podcast. “Cast” out there to the public. Yes, like any artist, a podcaster can do whatever the heck they want. But the viewer, reader, listener may or may not always love everything about it. The podcaster may or may not care. But it’s anything but a private affair. The most devoted fans can also be the most disappointed now and then.

    Love ya! Seriously.

    Posted on 5.3.06 ·
  45. Chrissy wrote:

    Hi, Brenda! I am a relatively new listener and I’m catching up (listening to this episode as I type, as a matter of fact). I’ve been meaning to comment, but your last sentence about being a Heinlen fan spurred me on. And I have to say, wha’? I tried to read his famous book about the man from the moon when I was in college, and I couldn’t finish it because it was so freakin’ homophobic! I never touched anything with his name on it again. Am I missing something?

    Anyway, love the podcast and I wish you still lived in Portland so we could knit together sometime. But I understand why you don’t. And I’m glad that you and Tonia have found a place where you can be together as a family. Do you have HBO over there? I’ve been taping (shh!) the documentary “All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise” for a bunch of people and it’s really excellent.

    Okay, I just realized that this comment has absolutely nothing to do with knitting. Cable diamond crop-top? Coffee just came out my nose. A funny moment in a very poignant episode. Thanks for all you do, Brenda!

    Posted on 5.3.06 ·
  46. Christa wrote:

    Yay, I made someone snort coffee out their nose! Dave would enjoy hearing that, too (hey, maybe he saw it from “up there”… unless, of course, his version of the afterlife is a little bit lower.. prob more fun 🙂

    What I would like to ask Dory to do… is to go back and listen to Brenda’s earlier podcasts. Yup, all those ones with the higher levels of knitting content that you like so much.. but pay special attention to what she says about listeners who critique podcasts because the podcast doesn’t contain what they want to listen to. The topic is mentioned a few times 🙂

    I like Dave’s understanding of it better than Dory’s… and would vote that she herself become a podcaster of the type of podcast she wants to listen to, before berating you again for choosing to go the route of the Muses, and branching out into more submissions from those of us eager to explore and share THIS aspect of knitting with you and your other listeners who enjoy it.

    Do whatever makes you happiest, Brenda, and I’ll dig it 🙂


    Posted on 5.6.06 ·
  47. Jordan wrote:

    This sounds silly now, but I had no idea that I could bring sadness with me to my knitting. It’s like I thought I had to get rid of it before picking up the needles (lest it corrupt the project, or my hobby, or something). Thank you for showing me otherwise. This feels empowering, hopeful.

    Posted on 5.13.06 ·
  48. Cat wrote:

    Your Knit-Sibs are definitely My Fiber-Sibs, since I’m still a spinner who doesn’t knit yet but thinks knitters are pretty darn cool. But again, great episode and thanks for sharing it with all us Sibs.

    Posted on 5.16.06 ·
  49. Christine wrote:

    I’m so sorry I am late to comment on this, but CONGRATULATIONS on getting the funding! And as much as I loved this episode, it needed a “do not listen while driving” disclaimer. I don’t think I was even 10 minutes into it when I was crying, which is hard to do when driving 70-80 mph.

    Thank you again for sharing your beauty. You are a constant inspiration.

    (Now that my semester is over, I owe you an e-mail about the podcast network. Time to roll!)

    Posted on 5.17.06 ·
  50. kathy wrote:

    first, let me say i’m one of those listeners that never (ok, rarely) leaves comments. also, i’m not a knitter, though i had a dream about knitting socks last night. anyways, i’m about halfway through this episode as i type & wanted to say thank you for doing this podcast. you have wonderful voice talent! even my husband likes to listen. he’s a poet & really loves to listen to people who know how to read aloud. thanks for your podcast! i’ll catch up to the current episode soon!

    Posted on 6.1.06 ·
  51. rani23 wrote:

    I cried. I’ll admit it, I cried. I’ve recently found podcasting and I’m going through all the old episodes of Cast On and I got this one today.

    And it made me cry at work. It was just lovely. Thank you!

    Also, I must say how much I also love your music choices. Fantastic!!

    Posted on 7.19.06 ·
  52. sopitikoj wrote:


    Well done, this site is really great. Just wanted to say hello, keep up the good work!


    Posted on 9.8.07 ·
  53. Emmie wrote:

    This episode is my favorite and illustrates the things I really like about your podcast. I work at a university and have passed along the link to several faculty friends in the hopes they will listen and decide to learn to knit. Good work!

    Posted on 12.21.07 ·
  54. Donna wrote:

    I have only recently discovered your podcast. I received an ipod for my birthday this year and I love listening and knitting or just sitting and listening. You have a wonder sense of humor and self. I love getting to know you and your family. I told myself that I should wait until I got caught up to the recent episodes to comment, but I can’t wait. I don’t want to get caught up because the thought of only having one eposide a week to listen to is just depressing.
    I have crocheted and knitted for all my life and I am now 39. Really! My mother and grandmother taught me to crochet, but I taught myself to knit. I think that is why I cling to it. Knitting is all mine. I love it when people see you doing it in public and stare. Only a few courageous soles ask you to tech them. The others are too intimidated to do anything but stare in awe. Thank you for letting me spend a few precious hours in the warm embrace of fellow knitters!

    Posted on 2.15.08 ·
  55. Kathryn wrote:

    Yes, I’m a Heinlein fan–but why is this here? Are you reading my Facebook page, too?

    I’ve been slowly catching up on your podcasts, from the beginning, for the past year or more (I’m a bit beyond this one, but catching up on checking out the website, too). Thank you, thank you, thank you. I would say that I can’t wait to be current–but it makes me feel rich to have so much yet to hear.

    Posted on 1.27.09 ·
  56. Barbara in Santa Barbara wrote:

    Syne’s words about Melpomene really hit a chord. I realized for the first time that my current knitting renaissance, which started in the spring of 2008, was probably in large part due to my grief over the death of my father.

    Posted on 11.23.09 ·
  57. Very good post. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..

    Posted on 1.26.15 ·

Comments are closed.